State health commissioners continue to urge Americans who haven

California's 2013-14 Flu Deaths Reach 318

The 318 confirmed deaths statewide tripled the total number of flu deaths during the 2012-13 season, when 106 were reported.

CDC reported that 2013-14 season influenza activity nationwide continued to decline during the week that ended March 1, but the disease's picture in California is less encouraging: Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health and the state health officer, announced March 7 that 318 flu-related deaths of people under 65 years of age have been recorded statewide, six of them being pediatric deaths, and an additional 26 deaths are under investigation but not yet confirmed. The 318 confirmed deaths tripled the total number of flu deaths during the 2012-13 season, when 106 were reported.

The jurisdictions with the highest number of deaths during the current season include Los Angeles (52), Sacramento (26), San Diego (27), San Bernardino (23), and Riverside (15), according to CDPH.

Most of the reported influenza deaths in persons younger than 65 were people with underlying medical conditions, according to the agency.

Chapman said there is still time for people who haven't been vaccinated to get a flu shot, and some local health departments may still offer free or low-cost immunizations.

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